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Picchio Dal Pozzo - Picchio Dal Pozzo  CD (album) cover

PICCHIO DAL POZZO

Picchio Dal Pozzo

 

Canterbury Scene

4.06 | 199 ratings

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laplace
Prog Reviewer
4 stars The Pozzo's first and most immediately accessible release shows a quartet of versatile musicians influenced by the psychedelic and canterbury jazz-rock scenes, and applying their own motif to these roots.

It's an album that starts slowly, with acoustic twangings sneaking into the listener's perception, soon highlighted by twinkling percussion (metallophone?) and underlined by an electronic basswave. Ninety seconds in and we're introduced to the crux of the PdP sound - layered horns and saxes that pick out and hold positive notes, together forming perfect melodies never too busy or too lazy. Most songs in evidence are vehicles for the wind instruments (which get far more stage time than the humourous vocals ever do) but the music is textured and delicately underpinned by any amount of assorted instruments, the electric piano being the most notable of these. The comparison to Hatfield and the North is obvious and well-founded - think of the excellent suite "Mumps" by that band, shelve the deliberately trite lyrical winks and add italian sensibilities and you have a close approximation of Picchio dal Pozzo's self-titled debut, albeit with a new selection of songs strong enough to hold their own identity.

The exception to this rule is track three, "Seppia", which is far less subtle - after the Oldfieldian introduction, listeners find themselves swept away by interleaving cosmic soundwaves slipping through a fuzzed-out bass riff that could have been borrowed from Jannick Top's repertoire. This would be a wonderful addition to a darker disc, but here we have an album that is otherwise breezy and ironic to some extent, making "Seppia"'s inclusion questionable. Of course, this ceases to be a relevant complaint if you prefer variety to consistency - in any case, it's hard not to gain great enjoyment from such a crazy and primal piece of music. Additionally, if you're listening carefully here you will learn how to correctly pronounce the band's name, which is not as intuitive as it looks.

Assuming that you like Hatfield, Robert Wyatt et al, here is an album that would fit well into your collection - if you prefer the denser sounds of Henry Cow and National Health's approach to composition, you may wish to investigate the more challenging album that follows this one.

laplace | 4/5 |

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